The singing voice gets a bad rap. It’s criticized and judged from a very early age.
I don’t know what compels grade school music teachers to shame innocent children into ‘standing at the back‘, or to ‘mouth the words,‘ but it happens all the time.
There are so many singing competitions now that singing has become some kind of Olympic style sport leaving ‘singer wannabe’s trembling at the knees’ at the thought of singing or expressing themselves out loud, God forbid.
After many years of teaching voice I can count on one hand how many students have shared that they really love their voice. ‘I can’t sing my way out of a wet paper bag.’ Honestly, where on earth did that phrase come from?
We all love to hear a beautiful voice and to feel the rush of feelings that it touches in us all the way through our body.
It’s this criticism and judgement that keeps people from really being able to explore their voice as an outlet for enjoyment, stress release, emotional and creative expression, connection and to be able to speak authentically.
What does it take to open up and share your voice freely and what are the benefits from doing this?
Singing, toning, humming or improvising on a regular basis takes you deeper into yourself and clears away what’s in the way of all of the beauty, depth and wisdom that’s inside of you.
Loads of feel good chemicals are released into your brain, flooding your body with energy and emotion and parts of your brain light up that don’t show up otherwise.
This domino effect brings vitality to the instrument of the body. The throat, larynx and vocal cords, the diaphragm, the belly, ribs, legs, the face, mouth and head all have a part to play in making one single note.
The vibrations from your voice impact your whole body and not just outside of you. The voice goes out yes but it also reflects downwards into your body and touches emotions and parts of you that might have been long out of your reach.
So why doesn’t everyone sing! What’s in the way of this powerful healing instrument that we all have right at our finger tips?
As I mentioned above criticism plays a huge role in the shut down of a voice, along with a whole host of other reasons.
As a voice teacher over the years I have heard many students speak of the injuries, traumas and wounds that have occurred around their voice creating a split between their voice and their emotions.
Over these many years of singing my voice had felt caught up in my throat from fear or being stuck in the past or afraid of the future like so many of us can relate to.
I tucked it away inside of me along with all of the hurt and feelings that I couldn’t deal with at the time.
The work of opening up my voice again was and is a process; a process of self compassion along with a deep desire to want to feel whole again, with my authentic voice at the helm of my life.
Opening and releasing the voice is a way to heal the split that can occur between the mind and the emotions and is a beautiful way to recover parts of us that might have been asleep or numbed out before.
Lastly if you want to learn more about your voice simply open your mouth, make a sound and see if you feel something, anything, just for a moment.
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